Arden Motorsport headed to Monte Carlo for the fourth round of Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup, and the curtain raiser for the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix.
Thursday morning kicked off with a very early start for the Collective Test session at 08:15am. The 45 minute session was the first session for the drivers to get a taster of the glamorous Monte Carlo circuit. Going into the first 10 minutes, Dan Ticktum was setting an incredible pace up to the halfway mark - lining up in second only 0.040s behind the leader. The session came to a premature end when a red flag was bought out to retrieve a stopped car.
Ticktum finished with the 10th fastest time, teammates Zane Goddard and Ghislain Cordeel finished 17th and 21st respectively.
Another early session for the Eurocup team on Friday saw the two qualifying groups headed out onto the streets of Monte Carlo. First out on track in Group A was Dan Ticktum – determined to put in a quick qualifying lap to also aid in his two grid place penalty which had been bought over from the third round at Pau.
Ten minutes to the session, Ticktum was already putting pressure on the two leaders in front, only two tenths off the fastest time. As the young Brit came into the pits for fresh rubber, Dan was sitting in second. Throughout the 30 minute qualifying session, Ticktum showed his pace was fast, visiting the top spot on a number of occasions. As the chequered flag fell, Ticktum was classified 2nd fastest, with a time of 1:31.126s, only 2 tenths from the ultimate pace.
Next out was Group B for their 30 minute qualifying session which saw Goddard and Cordeel hit the streets. After 10 minutes, Goddard was in 6th, and Cordeel in 9th. A virtual safety car was deployed with 6 minutes left of the session to retrieve a car who made contact with the barriers. Goddard took the chequered flag in 7th with a time of 1:31.662s, only 8 tenths behind the top spot, and Cordeel crossed the line in 12th with a 1:32.402s.
It was later reported by the Stewards that Goddard was to have his best three lap times deleted for not slowing down under a yellow flag.
Saturday saw the seventh race of the season - the first of two races at the Monaco Grand Prix. As the cars lined up on the grid under the beautiful Monegasque sunshine, Brit Dan Ticktum started in 5th due to a 2-place grid penalty carried over from the previous round at Pau, Aussie Zane Goddard in 18th and Belgian Ghislain Cordeel in 24th.
As the lights went out, the Arden trio got off to a great start.
Despite losing a place into the first corner, Ticktum remained on the tail of fellow Red Bull Junior Driver Verschoor. A little further down the pack, the young Belgian Cordeel had his own tight battle for 22nd, in which he came out on top.
Ticktum took the chequered flag in 6th, Goddard in 18th and Cordeel in 21st. Ticktum moves up to 9th in the Drivers Standings, and also inherited Top Rookie and 5th position overall - due to Verschoor jumping the start.
Lining up on the grid for the second race of the weekend, the spirits remained high knowing the pace was there. Dan Ticktum was starting the second race in 4th, Zane Goddard in 17th, and Ghislain Cordeel in 23rd.
Goddard was left with no where to go due to a multi-car pile-up at the Loews hairpin - but remained unscathed as he managed to rejoin the pack. Goddard and Cordeel managed to come back through at the safety car restart and made good progress. Ticktum was the fastest on track at half distance, before battling with Max Defourney and Will Palmer for the final podium spot.
As they crossed the finish line, Ticktum finished in 5th - also claimed the top rookie spot for the second time this weekend. Cordeel in 16th, and Goddard in 17th.
Dan Ticktum: “After inheriting fifth place and the win in the rookie category yesterday, I was able to do it again without any intervention. It matches my goal to be the best newcomer and first among the Red Bull drivers. I’m gaining more and more experience, an area that I was weak in at the start of the season. This weekend, the pace was strong, but not enough to compete with the top four. All the same we put in our best qualifying performance."
After a triple header of race weekends in the Formula Renault Eurocup, the team now has a three week break to prepare for the next round of the season, where they will head out to the Hungaroring, Budapest on the 30th June - 2nd July 2017.